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  1. #1
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Shortoff (Linville) and Dutchman's Creek (Uwharries) with the phamous Phantom Grappler!

    I drove down to NC last Sunday (10/17) and was honored to spend a few days with none other than Phantom Grappler who was my guide for a quick overnight trip to Shortoff Mountain, which hosts spectacular views from the eastern lip of the Linville Gorge, and another 2-night trip for a great little loop called Dutchman's Creek in the Uwharrie National Forest.

    It was such a treat to walk some trails that do not consist entirely of ankle-busting boulders like many here in the Northeast, and to enjoy some very moderate temperatures and crystal clear blue skies... come to think of it, I did not see a single cloud the whole time I was in North Carolina!

    The drive south was completely uneventful until about the last 8 miles when I drove my Dodge Caravan on the dusty and rutted road called 'Old NC 105' and darn near didn't make it through one deeply rutted and steep hairpin turn. Phantom had warned me that the north approach might be a bad idea, but naturally I didn't listen and was lucky not to get stuck or worse, rip out an oil pan. But there were plenty of friendly folks in ginormous 4-wheel drive rigs who probably would've helped me out. If I'm ever up that way again I'll definitely approach from the south or I'll be driving a more appropriate vehicle.

    People familiar with the area will be saying "Why were you on that side of the Gorge, since Shortoff is on the other side?" Well, Phantom wanted to introduce me to some of the Gorge Rats at "Birthday Camp" which is just a couple of rock throws north of the Pinch-In trail head. It was great meeting this fine group of friends who have been doing these trips for quite a few years and combining car/base camping with day hikes and backpack trips down into the Gorge. The Gorge Rats very generously offered us a delicious camp dinner but both of us had already eaten... I had a loaded pizza from The Italian Restaurant in Pineola and was still quite stuffed!

    Next morning, I followed as Phantom drove south around the bottom end of the Gorge and we found our way to the Wolf Pit parking area and started our climb up to Shortoff Mountain. After some truly fantastic views on the way up, we made camp at a stunning promontory with expansive vistas to the west. Not long after settling in we were visited by Kenny Ray, the "Mayor of Linville Gorge," who was out for a day hike, and had a very enjoyable conversation for a couple of hours. It seems that when hammock folk get together there is plenty to talk about!

    The next morning we did the quick hike back down to Wolf Pit and drove over to Yates Place, with a slight detour to Rick's Restaurant in Phantom's hometown, Denton.

    Yates is a cool Place, and those of you attending the hang there in a couple of weeks are in for a treat plenty of options for day hikes or even an overnighter on very well maintained trails await you; I just hope that your weather is as good as ours was!!

    Phantom Grappler on the Shortoff trail:



    View of Lake James on the way up Shortoff:



    Near the top of Shortoff Mtn:



    Our perch/camp for the night on Shortoff:



    We both brought our chairs so we could kick back and relax!

    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art. ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  2. #2
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    More pix...

    At the junction for the start of Dutchman's Creek:


    Easy living and a quiet, relaxing camp:

    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art. ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  3. #3
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    (for some reason, only able to post a couple of pix at a time...)

    Water was low, but Dutchman's Creek still had some flow and good water quality:



    The following weekend it appears there is to be a trail race in the Uwharries, with this sign placed at the bottom of a big climb... Phantom and I climbed it and sure enough I can't imagine running up it!!


    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art. ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  4. #4
    Phantom Grappler's Avatar
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    Cmoulder, you made our trekking and hammock camping memorable. Thanks for showing your fantastic knots. Your Lapp hitch and slipped buntline hitch never slip and never jam.
    Your Lapp loop went over my head
    Further study on my part may be required.
    Youve made some videos, how to tie these knots

    What are your videos titled?

    I learned much about backpacking and coffee this week. All I can say is, Mocha Galactica

    Cmoulder and Gorge Rats thank wooooo

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Nice 1-2 punch, Linville & Uwharrie! Glad y’all got to have a good time and see some pretty sights. I’ve heard before that the creeks in Uwharrie have some of the best water quality in the state.

  6. #6
    ObdewlaX's Avatar
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    This is the best time of year to hike, camp & backpack, IMO. All the colors are starting turn out in the woods, temps get cooler & the bugs get fewer.

    Looks like you two had some good hiking & overnight accommodations. Nice view to take in on your first overnighter on that ridge as the sun goes down & again when it comes up.

    Thanks for posting.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mistone's Avatar
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    Glad you had a good time shortoff one of my fav hikes
    Its a good day to be out in the woods no matter the weather.Mist One..

  8. #8
    jb_outdoors's Avatar
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    Great pics, Cmoulder! I've never ventured over to the Uwharries but I think I just might have to now. Looks like y'all had a great time. I second Phantom Grappler's request for a pointer to your knot videos
    -- Josh

    "Courage, mon ami! Le Diable est mort!"

  9. #9
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layne View Post
    Nice 1-2 punch, Linville & Uwharrie! Glad yall got to have a good time and see some pretty sights. Ive heard before that the creeks in Uwharrie have some of the best water quality in the state.
    Very relaxing hiking, it was. I've had a few not-so-enjoyable hikes this year but this was total luxury!

    Quote Originally Posted by ObdewlaX View Post
    This is the best time of year to hike, camp & backpack, IMO. All the colors are starting turn out in the woods, temps get cooler & the bugs get fewer.


    Looks like you two had some good hiking & overnight accommodations. Nice view to take in on your first overnighter on that ridge as the sun goes down & again when it comes up.


    Thanks for posting.
    My favorite time of year, for sure! I thought we might have a bug issue in Uwharrie NF after getting a mosquito bite right out of the gate at Yates, but I didn't use any bug spray thereafter and never got another bite! And I always love a high perch with a good view of the setting and/or rising sun.
    Quote Originally Posted by mistone View Post
    Glad you had a good time shortoff one of my fav hikes
    Really fantastic area. I hope to get back again and do a more extensive hike in the Gorge. Last time I was down at James River level was 1981!
    Quote Originally Posted by jb_outdoors View Post
    Great pics, Cmoulder! I've never ventured over to the Uwharries but I think I just might have to now. Looks like y'all had a great time. I second Phantom Grappler's request for a pointer to your knot videos
    We just got a sweet little slice (~15mi) of Uwharries and I'd certainly like to hike more of it some day... with all the side trails and bike/horse trails it'd probably take a good while to do it all!

    My little knot video is HERE!
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art. ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  10. #10
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    And here's the map, start/end at Yates Place...

    Dutchman's Creek UWHARRIES.jpg
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art. ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

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